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March 17, 2017
Volume 17, Issue 6

Warning: Some of the facts contained in this issue may contain inferences, assumptions and confirmation bias.

Can Athletic Performance Fabrics Reduce MSIs?

Planters are reporting that compression sleeves and socks help in reducing worker wear and tear.

It may be some time yet before we get work gear woven from spider silk with its remarkable tensile strength and flexibility. (They are working on it, click here for more information.) In the meantime high performance athletic fabric is showing some promise in reducing fatigue and strains typical of forestry work according to reports from the field. Manufacturers of compression garments designed for the torso and other moving parts claim they reduce muscle fatigue and swelling, while increasing oxygenation and blood flow. With positive endorsements from planters from previous trials, TimberWest is now taking the lead by offering compression sleeves to all silviculture crews this spring season. The gear’s not cheap at about $50 for a couple of sleeves, or about the same for two pairs of socks. But if it can reduce injuries it may be worth it.

Coast Planting off to Uneven Start with Late Winter Weather

As we near the spring equinox, winter’s back remains unbroken across most of the province.

As the saying goes, “If that rain keeps up, it won’t come down.” The same contradictory principle might apply to predicting weather as well. Nevertheless, it’s probably no surprise the Coast planting season has got off to an uneven start this year. The snow keeps coming and going leaving crews caught waiting it out in the dreaded “down-daze” mode, eating up costs and time in camp or motels. After a run of years of relatively mild coast weather we may be seeing a return to an older pattern. Some contractors we spoke to are just beginning to wonder about the onset of spring in other parts as their coastal commitments lag. According to the River Forecast Centre this winter’s snow pack is “upside-down” in many parts of the province. Colder temperatures, particularly in February, have led to greater accumulations of snow than normal at lower elevations. Meanwhile seasonally dry conditions have led to lower snowpack at higher levels. A clear case of “If that snow keeps up, it will come down.” Certainly spring appears in no rush like it has been the last few years. For all we know this year’s spring field season will all-in-all be normal. Whatever that is.

Are You Made of the Right Stuff? Planting Training Videos May Help Answer That

Yes, the camp is on fire: just another one of the hazards of forestry work.

Planting trees does often require remaining resolute in the face of adversity. Not everyone comes with that resolve; so much so, that a 2015 labour market report on forestry work recommended the industry do a better job of portraying more clearly what the job and conditions involve in order to better attract and retain new workers more likely to succeed.’s blogger-in-chief Jonathan (Scooter) Clark has put together a series of educational videos designed in part to give prospective applicants an idea of just what they might be getting into when thinking of finding work in reforestation. These lectures, which are unsparing in their approach to detail on various topics, ranging from camp life to workplace safety, may not be best-paced for a generation raised on MTV. But they do authentically cover the ground in a way that any applicant, or current young worker might appreciate and benefit from. To view the series, please click the following links:

Tree Planter Pre-Season

Learning How to Plant